Who’s Moving: National AIDS Trust, Sue Ryder, Felix Project and more

29 Apr 2024 News

In this fortnightly column, Civil Society looks at people moving roles in the UK charity sector…

Robbie Currie, incoming CEO of National AIDS Trust

National AIDS Trust

National AIDS Trust recruits CEO

HIV rights charity the National AIDS Trust has appointed Robbie Currie as its next chief executive, starting in July.

Currie, who has led the London HIV Prevention Programme since August 2022, will succeed Deborah Gold, who will be leaving after a decade as CEO.

He said: “I am naturally nervous to be taking up the role following Deborah Gold’s incredible legacy, but extremely excited to continue the vital work undertaken during her tenure, alongside the exceptional National AIDS Trust team.”

Sue Ryder hires CEO

Sue Ryder has appointed NHS England director James Sanderson as its next chief executive, taking over from Heidi Travis, who made the decision to semi-retire following 14 years with the charity.

Sanderson, currently national director of community health services, personalised care and palliative and end of life care at NHS England, will join the bereavement support charity in August.

He said: “I am looking forward to working with staff, volunteers and everyone involved with Sue Ryder to grow the organisation and its impact, find innovative ways to continue to deliver the vision, and above all build a society where everyone who is dying or grieving can access the support they need.” 

Walking charity recruits CEO

Everyday walking charity Living Streets has appointed Catherine Woodhead as its chief executive.

Woodhead will leave her current post as CEO of Muscular Dystrophy UK, a role she has held since 2018, before starting at Living Streets in August.

Stephen Edwards stepped down as Living Streets’ chief executive this month, with Stephen Jefford acting as interim CEO until Woodhead starts.

Woodhead said: “I am excited to sink my teeth into a new challenge at Living Streets. The charity has an incredible history and I look forward to working with the staff, supporters and local groups that make up Living Streets to expand its impact and ensure it has an equally bright future.”

STiR CEO announces departure

Girish Menon has decided to step down as chief executive of STiR Education in June after nearly three and a half years in post.

The charity announced that senior director of programme delivery Jenny Willmott and director of learning and impact John McIntosh will replace Menon as interim co-CEOs.

Menon said: “As we start thinking about our new strategy, I think this is the right time for me to step down, and I will be excited to see the organisation continue to progress under Jenny and John.”

Getting on Board CEO steps down

Trustee training charity Getting on Board’s CEO Penny Wilson has announced that she will be leaving the organisation at the end of June after seven years.

Getting on Board, which grew its income from £17,000 a year to £250,000 under Wilson’s leadership, is recruiting for Wilson’s replacement.

Wilson said: “I have absolutely loved working with so many people in the charity sector to support a wider range of people to become, and serve as, effective trustees.

“However, as every small charity CEO will tell you, the job is joyous but quite full on and I have decided that I need a rest. I’m planning to take the summer off with my family before I decide what I want to do next.”

Dravet Syndrome UK appoints first head of fundraising

Epilepsy charity Dravet Syndrome UK has appointed Tania Lewis as its first head of fundraising to help diversify and grow its income.

Lewis, the charity’s sixth member of staff, was recently head of development and communications at Citizens Advice Hammersmith and Fulham, where she helped to raise over £2m in multi-year funding.

“I’m looking forward to using my fundraising experience to help support and empower more families, reach more health professionals and fund vital research,” she said. 

Independent Age announces change of chair

Independent Age has announced that Richard Anderson will take over from Julia Neuberger as chair in September 2024.

Neuberger, who has been chair since 2019, said: “Working with my fellow trustees, staff and volunteers, we have laid a strong foundation for continued impact, and I am confident Richard will continue this work with his passion and expertise.”

Anderson, currently chair of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “I am energised by the opportunity to lead the board, grow our impact, and build our reputation across the poverty and older people’s sectors.”

New Economics Foundation appoints chair

The New Economics Foundation has appointed former civil service director general Adam Sharples as its chair following an extensive search to replace Lord Kerslake, who passed away in July last year.

Sharples has held several chair and non-executive positions, including chair of the Money Advice Trust from 2016 to 2023.

He said: “I am honoured and delighted to be joining the New Economics Foundation as chair, particularly at a time when there is such a need for new economic thinking informed by progressive values and sound evidence.”

Social Investment Business appoints chair

Social lender Social Investment Business (SIB) has appointed Sonali Siriwardena as its next chair, taking over from former Labour cabinet minister for communities, Hazel Blears, who steps down after eight years at the helm.

Sonali, a partner at international law firm Simmons and Simmons, steps up into the chair role after having served as vice chair at the organisation. 

SIB has announced other board appointments including West London Zone chief executive Louisa Mitchell, independent consultant Magdalene Bayim-Adomako, assistant director at the Office for Local Government Debjani Ghosh and CEO of Ouseburn Trust Chris Barnard. 

Felix Project appoints three trustees

London-based food redistribution charity Felix Project has appointed three members to its board of trustees.

It has recruited Amazon Fresh UK country manager Matt Birch, business leader Paul Drechsler and Hello Fresh UK chief executive Adam Park.

The three members will officially start when they attend their first meeting in April and in May the board will commence recruitment of one further trustee.

Royal Society for Blind Children appoints trustee

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) has appointed technology entrepreneur Simon Ward as a trustee.

Ward, who founded global marketing technology company Inspired Thinking Group, will work with CEO Julie Davis and the board to further expand the services that the RSBC offers, as well as provide strategic guidance on its expansion.

Davis said: “As an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and global pioneer in marketing technology, he brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge, and we’re honoured that he has chosen to dedicate his time to us as a trustee.”

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